Three UK quantity surveyors to form Baqus and embark on aggressive acquisition strategy

A company formed this week by the merger of three UK QSs, is planning to float on the stock market in the autumn to fund an aggressive acquisition strategy.

Quantity surveyors Boxall Sayer, Denley King and Fletcher McNeill revealed this week that they are merging to form Baqus, a practice that will be led by Roger Knowles. Knowles was the founder of claims consultant JR Knowles, which was sold to Hill International last year.

The new QS plans to list on the alternative investment market (AIM) in November. The move follows QS Cyril Sweett’s recent revelation that it is planning to list on the AIM in autumn. They will be the only two listed QSs.

Baqus, which will have a turnover of £7m and profit of £1m, will initially have a market capitalisation of £13m. This includes £3m of cash which the flotation is expected to generate. The firm plans to use this to begin an expansion strategy.

Patrick Lineen, who will be finance director at Baqus, said: “We want to grow reasonably quickly, both organically and through acquisition. We are targeting two acquisitions a year, with the aim of increasing our geographic and sector spread.”

Lineen added that the company would target medium-sized firms, with the potential to increase the firm’s turnover by £4m-£5m annually. This could increase turnover to £20m in three years.

The combined company was formed after Knowles began contacting small and medium-sized QSs last year.

He said: “The idea was to find companies that were too small to get some bigger jobs, but could join together to float and gain more credibility.”

The combined company will have over 100 members of staff and will operate across the UK. Clive Sayer from Boxhall Sayer, Graham Williams from Denley King and Rob McNeill from Fletcher McNeill will sit on the board alongside Knowles and Leenan. Sayer, the Boxhall Sayer chairman, will be chief executive.

Sayer said: “We could see a lot of benefits to the proposal. It consolidates a fragmented profession and will allow staff to buy in to the company.”

Lineen said there would be no redundancies as a result of the merger.